FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Report available at: tripnet.org
ALBANY-SCHENECTADY-TROY AREA DRIVERS LOSE NEARLY $1,900 PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – $24.8 BILLION STATEWIDE. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER ROAD AND BRIDGE DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION & HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS
Eds.: The statewide report includes regional pavement conditions, bridge conditions, congestion levels, highway safety data, and cost breakdowns for the state’s largest urban areas. TRIP has also prepared customized regional reports for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York-Newark-Jersey City, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica areas.
Albany, New York– Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost each Albany-Schenectady-Troy area driver $1,863 per year – a total of $24.8 billion statewide – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Adequate investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels is needed to relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in New York, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national nonprofit transportation research organization.
The TRIP report, “New York Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area, more than one-third of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) are in poor condition. The report also finds that the Capital Region’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. In addition to the statewide report, TRIP has produced customized regional reports for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York-Newark-Jersey City, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica areas.
Driving on deficient Albany-Schenectady-Troy area roads costs the average driver $1,863 annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The chart below details costs to drivers of driving on deficient roads statewide and in New York’s eight largest urban areas.
|New York-Newark-New Jersey||$719||$284||$1,765||$2,768|
|New York Statewide||$7 Billion||$4.8 Billion||$13 Billion||$24.8 Billion|
The TRIP report finds that 15 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area are in poor condition and another 20 percent are rated in mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $351 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. These costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Driving on rough roads costs the state’s drivers a total of $7 billion each year.
“Once again TRIP is highlighting the desperate need to increase funding for the state’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “With deficient roads costing New Yorkers nearly $25 billion a year, the time to act is now. We encourage stakeholders and lawmakers to take this report seriously and make infrastructure spending a priority in 2019. The state’s economy depends on it.”
Traffic congestion in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area is worsening, causing 42 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing the average driver $1,006 each year in lost time and wasted fuel. New York drivers lose a total of $13 billion annually in the form of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion.
“The facts in this report speak for themselves,” said Mark Eagan, president and CEO of the Capital Region Chamber. “It is critical that elected officials make increased funding for transportation infrastructure a top priority.”
In the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area, eight percent (69 of 837) bridges are in poor condition, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components and another 56 percent (470 of 837) are rated in fair condition, indicating some deterioration to major components of the bridge. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. More than half – 52 percent – of New York’s bridges are at least 50 years old.
In the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area, on average, 49 people were killed in traffic crashes each year from 2014 to 2016. The financial impact of traffic crashes costs each Albany-Schenectady-Troy area driver an average of $506 annually – a total of $4.8 billion statewide. New York’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.83 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.18. The fatality rate on New York’s non-interstate rural roads is approximately three and a half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.11 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.60).
The efficiency and condition of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $1.3 trillion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New York, mostly by trucks, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. Approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs in New York in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.
“Driving on deficient roads comes with a $1,863 yearly price tag for motorists – $24.8 billion statewide,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving New York’s drivers time and money.”